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Where to go for what my 70 y/o Mom thinks is a "fun" meal? But foodies need to be appeased, too.

My Mom and I share the same birthday and this year will be my 40th. I had to miss her 70th last year b/c I was preggers and due 2 days later (she lives in FL). When I asked her if she had any preferences for where she'd like to eat while she's here for our b-day in Feb 2011 she said she wanted to go someplace "fun".

Pressing her on what constitutes "fun", she said she'd like a place where they have music and diners can just get up and dance in the aisles. I think she's picturing everyone doing the Italian napkin dance or boogying to German oom-pah-pah accordian music. The atmosphere and event is more important to her than having good food. I'm was wincing as I wrote that, because...

The rest of us LOVE food. The food is the most important thing. We post our food porn after meals.

Is there someplace we can go to make everyone happy? And if not, where can we go to make *her* happy?

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  1. Somebody help me out here, but isn't there a place where young opera singers work as the waitstaff and then sing opera "between courses" as it were?? I was there years ago and the place was lively and fun and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jane A.

      This?

      http://www.caffetaci.com/

      I think it used to be near Lincoln Center, years ago.

      1. re: small h

        That's it. Although I thought it was way downtown. Thanks.

        1. re: Jane A.

          My guess is that you're thinking of Asti's in the village, which closed quite a while ago.

    2. Just a thought: I haven't been to Del Posto, but at least one hound has reported that a pianist plays during lunch service (at least on weekdays, not sure about weekends), so if your mother is OK with a place that has live music but isn't an actual dance club, maybe Del Posto would be to everyone's liking.

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      Del Posto
      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pan

        That may be too tame for her, lol. I'll peruse the posts and see what I find about their music. Thank you for the suggestion!

      2. I hesitate to write this but how about Mangi Bevi. Its loud, fun the food is decent and she will have a blast.

        8 Replies
        1. re: princeofpork

          Are you talking about Mangia e Bevi on 9th Ave? If so, that place closed a while ago.

          1. re: LNG212

            I was and apologies, I haven't been there in a while but that atmosphere seemed perfect.

            1. re: princeofpork

              Totally agree that it sounds like it would have worked well for the OP. The food wasn't all that but they did hand out tambourines and have people dance on tables!! I don't know of anywhere else that does that. There's always belly dancers at places like Turkuaz, I guess.

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              Turkuaz
              2637 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

              1. re: LNG212

                Le Souk on the LES offers a similar atmosphere but it is quite loud.

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                Le Souk
                47 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                1. re: princeofpork

                  Sorry Mr. Van Winkle but Le Souk is closed.

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                  Le Souk
                  47 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                  1. re: reatard

                    Now you know why I dont plan parties for 70 year olds.

                    1. re: reatard

                      They opened a new place on LaGuardia.

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                      Le Souk Harem
                      510 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012

                      1. re: squid kun

                        I passed this place today (Souk) and was wondering if it's any good. Has anyone been there recently?

          2. I have been to Del Posto numerous times on the W/E and there's always a pianist playing. I have not been for lunch. Call and see what the piano player's hours are. I absolutely love DP. It's one of my favorite NYC restaurants. Good luck.

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            Del Posto
            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            1. Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse, perhaps?

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              Sammy's Roumanian
              157 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

              9 Replies
              1. re: kathryn

                I think Sammy's will break the heart of anyone hoping for good food. But it is festive and lively, for sure.

                1. re: small h

                  Some people's hearts love that food...at least some specific items on the menu, that is.

                  Hey we haven't had a good Sammy's War in a long time!

                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                    <Hey we haven't had a good Sammy's War in a long time!>

                    I've healed up from the last one & am ready to fight again. Although since I've been to Sammy's exactly once, and it was more than a decade ago, maybe I should sit this one out. It's just that the taste (and look, and smell) of that salmon is tattooed on my brain.

                    1. re: small h

                      Next time have the chopped liver :-)

                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                        I stopped eating chopped liver almost three decades ago, but maybe in my next life. I should start getting that "to do" list together now, come to think of it.

                        1. re: small h

                          You definitely can't participate in a Sammy's discussion, for sure.... :-)

                          1. re: gutsofsteel

                            'Tis true, my input re Sammy's is of limited use. But that's not exactly a rarity here on our beloved Manhattan board.

                            What about Hill Country (where I've never been and am not letting that stop me from recommending it because why not)? There's live music.

                            1. re: small h

                              Hill Country is SO LOUD.

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                              Hill Country
                              30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                              1. re: gutsofsteel

                                I'm just throwing it out there. For some people, loud = fun.

              2. Does anyone know if Theater Bar in Tribeca serves food?

                1. I'm cringing as I recommend this, but how about Ellen's Stardust Diner. The waiters and waitresses are all singers who haven't quite made it on Broadway. They sing and perform during the meals. I haven't been in a while, but the food's not bad either (standard diner fare). I bet your mom would think this is fun.

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                  Ellen's Stardust Diner
                  1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                  1. Not sure if these will work for your group but the only other things I could think of (besides what has already been mentioned) that might be worth exploring are (i) I think some of the churrascaria's have samba bands perform on weekends and (ii) Jazz Standard with Blue Smokes BBQ to eat (although that is more listen and appreciate as opposed to get up and boogie). Hope you find something that makes everyone enjoy the celebrations.

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                    Blue Smoke
                    116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                    1. Mama Mexico has pretty good food and strolling mariachi bands. They tend to get a lot of large parties and it is festive.

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                      Mama Mexico
                      2672 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

                      1. Brooklyn Bowl has live music and dj's and good food. But of course, it all depends on whether you consider bowling or being in its vicinity fun. Weekends 12 to 6 are family days http://www.brooklynbowl.com/info